Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

UM a step from new peak

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Durand Scott sank the shots to turn away North Carolina State's best pushes, and Shane Larkin provided the steady floor leadership that kept ninth-ranked Miami in control.

The backcourt that guided the Hurricanes to their first ACC regular-season championship now has them positioned to add the tournament title, too.

Scott scored a career-high 32 to help the Hurricanes beat the Wolfpack 81-71 on Saturday in the ACC semifinals, earning the program's first trip to the final.

Larkin added 23 for the top-seeded Hurricanes (26-6), who before Saturday had reached the semifinals just once, as a No. 12 seed making a surprise run before falling to eventual national champion Duke in 2010. Now they're heading to today's final to face No. 3 seed North Carolina.

"We're a very hungry team, and we want more and more," Larkin said. "We're not satisfied with winning the regular season. We want the ACC championship, and then eventually we want to make the national championship game. We're hungry, and we're not going to settle for anything less."

Miami led all day and by 19 late in the first half against the fifth-seeded Wolfpack (24-10), which got within six after halftime but couldn't dig out of that big hole.

Scott had a lot to do with that. The senior guard made 12 of 18 shots and 5 of 8 3-pointers to keep draining the energy from a home-state crowd wearing plenty of red.

UNC 79, MARYLAND 76: Dexter Strickland and Reggie Bullock scored 15 each for the Tar Heels (24-9), who head to today's final with a shot at their 18th tournament title.

The Hurricanes swept the Tar Heels in the regular-season. Their 26-point win last month at Miami led coach Roy Williams to make P.J. Hairston a starter and play with a smaller, quicker group.

"They haven't seen us with our new lineup yet," Bullock said of Miami. "We just have to get our face back. They definitely embarrassed us when we went down there … and for us to have the opportunity to play against them on the last night before we go to the NCAA Tournament is great."

Hairston scored 13 despite a heavily wrapped and injured left (nonshooting) hand for North Carolina, but his missed free throw with 16 seconds left gave seventh-seeded Maryland (22-12) a chance to force overtime.

The Terrapins called timeout with 10.9 seconds left, and Logan Aronhalt took the inbounds pass from Nick Faust and immediately launched a 30-foot airball.

Comments

Sports in brief

SOCCERenglish first: GOAL COUNTS as video overturns callIn a first for English soccer, a goal was awarded thanks to the intervention of a video assistant referee as Leicester advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday. Kelechi Iheanacho’s ...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Baseball in the rear-view mirror for Redskins assistant James Rowe III

Baseball in the rear-view mirror for Redskins assistant James Rowe III

ST. PETERSBURG — The East-West Shrine Game is loaded with long shots, small-school standouts and unlikely stars trying to find their way to the NFL.It's only fitting that James Rowe III is coaching them this week.Even when he was still on a bas...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Captain’s Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How the Lightning ‘practices’ without practicing

How the Lightning ‘practices’ without practicing

TAMPA – The Lightning is scheduled to take the ice late Wednesday morning at Amalie Arena to do something it hasn't done since, well, last year.Practice.You have to go back to Dec. 27, the day the Lightning returned from the Christmas brea...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former Armwood, UCF star Aaron Evans feeling ‘amazing’ after surgery

Former Armwood, UCF star Aaron Evans feeling ‘amazing’ after surgery

Even in a magical season devoid of defeat, UCF senior LT Aaron Evans still experienced agony.Which might be too mild a word. At times, the Armwood High alumnus said, the back pain he experienced this past fall reached "excruciating" levels."Some game...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs LB Kwon Alexander headed to Pro Bowl

Bucs LB Kwon Alexander headed to Pro Bowl

Kwon Alexander is headed to the Pro Bowl.The third-year Bucs linebacker, who led the NFL in solo tackles a year ago, was announced Tuesday as an injury replacement for Seattle's Bobby Wagner.Alexander, 23, won't have to go far, as the game is back in...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Spoiler alert: What happens after Minnesota Miracle and the like

Spoiler alert: What happens after Minnesota Miracle and the like

Did you see it?Tell me it wasn't the craziest ending you ever saw. Tell me you didn't blurt out some sort of version of "Oh my gosh!'' Tell me you didn't keep questioning if you really saw what you just saw.It was play so remarkable that it immediate...
Updated: 4 hours ago
HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Girls basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. Alonso (14-1)This week: Wednesday vs. Tampa Bay Tech, Friday at RiverviewThe buzz: The Ravens picked up a big win last week against Plant. They are very well-rounded. Jacquelyn LeVay is one of the best guards in the area. And under the basket, sen...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Quinton Flowers the punt returner?

Quinton Flowers the punt returner?

ST. PETERSBURG – Former USF quarterback Quinton Flowers is still getting looks at quarterback during practice for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.Just not exclusively.Flowers fielded punts during Tuesday morning's East team ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
D’Ernest Johnson hopes to showcase versatility at East-West Shrine Game

D’Ernest Johnson hopes to showcase versatility at East-West Shrine Game

On a cloudless, brisk St. Petersburg afternoon, D'Ernest Johnson lined up deep in the backfield, darted to the right flat and snagged a short Riley Ferguson pass.Within a matter of minutes, he snagged another. Suddenly, it was 2016 all over again for...
Updated: 12 hours ago